Jobless in America:
by William Hughes

Welcome to Jobless America!

The U.S. manufacturing sector lost 95,000 jobs in April, 2003, alone, according to the Washington Post (05/04/03), “Where Have All the Jobs Gone?,” by Steven Pearlstein. On top of that, financial service companies plan to transfer 500,000 jobs, or 8 percent of total employment, to foreign countries such as India and China over the next five years. Businesses and government also slashed their payrolls by 48,000 workers, in April.

These job loss trends are a direct result of Gross National Greed spurred on, in part, by federal government trade policies that have placed predatory corporate profiteering and Wall St. speculating before the broader national good. This is so even though the “Preamble” of the U.S. Constitution promotes the “general welfare” as one of its noblest tenets.

How is the “general welfare” served, and the Republic, too, when the highest value in the land isn’t the national interest, but the corporate and globalized interests of these scheming grave diggers of America?

Closer to home, the bankruptcy sale of Bethlehem Steel, to the ISG Corporation of Cleveland, was recently approved for $ 1.5 billion price tag. This means the 2,800 workers, left at its Sparrows Point, Maryland plant, can expect to be reduced shortly by at least a third of that number by their new employer. Caps will also be put on their wages.

History is a great teacher. In its WW II heyday, the Sparrows Point facility employed 45,000 workers: 30,000 building ships in its waterfront department; and another 15,000 toiling in its mills. Now, this centerpiece of a once-thriving manufacturing juggernaut, the then-envy of the world, is fighting to stay alive. Who rusted out our Steel Industry? [1]

Question: What are the Congress, and the Labor Bosses, at their D.C. headquarters, doing about these worker-bashing trade policies that are destroying our manufacturing base, and destabilizing and demoralizing the communities that have supported them over the years?

It is a truism: No middle class, no democracy! We are starting to resemble the “Banana Republics” of Central and South America. The gross disparity in wealth between the classes is growing at such an alarming rate, the statisticians can’t keep up with measuring it.

Try some anecdotal evidence. Last year, I took a tour around Manhattan on the famed Circle Line. I struck up a conversation with a passenger on the ship, who now lives in Jersey City, NJ. She’s a school teacher. She recalled, “I used to live on Manhattan. I grew up on the East side. But now to live there, you have to be either very rich or very poor. People, like me, can’t simply afford it anymore. And, that’s very sad.”

Look around at any major U.S. city and you will see the spreading signs of this disturbing phenomena for yourself. Gated communities are a growth industry. Formerly solid working class enclaves are becoming Yuppified. More workers are employed on a part time basis, without any health or vacation benefits or job security. Once stable homegrown industries have deserted by the thousands their urban settings, never to return [2].

Meanwhile, a majority of our state governments are sinking under mountains of debts. Massachusetts is reeling with a $3 billion deficit. Its lawmakers are considering selling corporate sponsors the naming rights to its parks and forests, including the Walden Woods immortalized by Henry David Thoreau. What’s next? Putting fabled Bunker Hill on the block?

Not everyone, however, is suffering. Take billionaire Ira Rennert of the Hamptons, on Long Island, NY. He is building a luxurious $100 million waterfront vacation estate, on a 68 acre site, with 29 bedrooms. Even the New York Post, a Rupert Murdock rag, (05/04/03), railed at his “filthy rich life” style. The kingly mansion will also have its own power plant!

The pseudo economy, boosted by America’s dubious role as a “Global Cop,” has made some, like Rennert “filthy rich.” Tragically, it has also left many more behind it its wake. The Enron, WorldCom, ImClone, Global Crossing, Adelphia, Arthur Andersen and Tyco scandals, to cite a few, have devastated millions of workers, pensioners and investors. On that same issue, economist Michael Burt has indicated that terrorism across the globe has caused “less damage” to the U.S. economy, around $ 50 billion, as compared to the $ 6 trillion in lost wealth that resulted directly from the endemic corporate scandals (“High Cost of Corporate Crime,” Business Finance, 10/02, Fay Hansen).

Wall Street insiders, however, know how to take care of their own. None of the creeps responsible for bringing down those corporate shams has yet to serve a single day in jail. Where is the justice, too, in all of that?

Up until WW II, our economy mostly followed the “American System,” as championed by the likes of Henry C. Carey of Philadelphia, an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln. As a result, with tariffs and protectionism in place, America prospered and became a great industrial giant, along with creating the highest standard of living in the world for its workers.

Today, it’s the Free Trade ideology, the prime tool of the globalists, that dominates the markets. It has looted our industrial capacity, stolen the best jobs from our workers, cost us our sovereignty, opened up our country to cheap imports and further corrupted our politics. With its intellectual origins rooted in the evils of British imperialism, Free Trade, must be treated as a mortal enemy of the Republic. It must be eradicated!

Finally, a Jobless America is an America at risk!

© William Hughes 2002

William Hughes is the author of “Andrew Jackson vs. New World Order” (Authors Choice Press) and “Baltimore Iconoclast” (Writer’s Showcase), which are availabel online. He can be reached at liamhughes@mindspring.com.

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